Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Louvre in studies

Using my sketchbook to document various inspiration within my project means that Ive had the chance to complete a number of studies of art within the Louvre which I found most impacting, and in particular the small details of these elements. Below are a few pages from my sketchbook looking at art and sculpture of the Lourve:

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Louvre

As art is a key part of who I am and has shaped my entire life, visiting the Louvre was a natural desire for me, as it is one of the most famous galleries in the world, and houses some of the most stunning pieces of art.
Due to the nature of my current work the Religious pieces on display interested me greatly, as did a lot of the actual architecture of the building. I found myself incredibly moved by a number of the sculptures on display (my favourite two are pictured below).
And obviously a visit to the Louvre wouldn't have been complete without seeing the 'most famous painting in the world'

Monday, 20 February 2012

Père Lachaise Cemetery

One place I was eager to visit in Paris was the Père Lachaise Cemetery. At a staggering 110 acres, the vast cemetery could quite easily have had an entire day devoted to its sights.
With an undeniable atmosphere the cemetery had a tense, breathless quality I have only felt a few times in my life. A truly incredible, emotive place.
The most harrowing sights came from the Holocaust monuments within the cemetery, the skeletal figures of men, women and children lined one particular avenue, virtually rendering me speechless.
There were so many beautiful, yet sad, monuments and graves of varying sizes, styles and states of decay, it was impossible to give each the attention and respect they deserve, one can but try.
One thing I had looked forward to was leaving a rose for a great inspiration in my life; Oscar Wilde. His tomb was a beautiful sight, and I felt a sense of pride and loyalty to leave him a kiss like so many before me.

Sunday, 19 February 2012


A short visit to Paris with University was the perfect opportunity to seek out some inspiration within the city. Intriguing and inspiring sights came for a huge range of different sources, including; architecture, sculpture and art.
The sights, sounds (and smells!) of the city were intriguing, so I took the opportunity to soak up some things of particular interest to me within the city.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Meadow Conservation

As I am highly interested in nature, and my project is based around flora and fauna, I always attempt to keep abreast with current issues, news and changes in the natural world. On a small scale, I keep a watchful eye on my own garden, the birds which visit, and things I see on my daily commute. But I felt it appropriate to watch the programme 'Bees, Butterflies and Bloom' on BBC iPlayer. Initially I was concerned that the programme had over-simplified the issue of bee decline in the UK, as this is a complex situation with many factors, namely disease, however I persisted with the programme, as Einstein supposedly said; 'If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.', and insect decline is a worrying issue.
The programme did raise some interesting initiatives to encourage people to plant pollen rich plants (as we do in our garden), however the inclusion of even more wild flowers is an interesting idea which I'm keen to get involved with, so Ill certainly be visiting some local meadows and collecting a limited amount of seed in June to sew in the garden (I encourage you all to do this, but please be sensible about it, watch the programme and you'll be instructed on collecting seeds).

I think encouraging councils to sew pollen rich plants, wildflowers and perennials as opposed to ridiculously expensive bedding plants is a strong idea with the opportunity to have several positive outcomes. Perennials are far more cost effective and require far less maintenance, in times of financial difficulty such as these, planting wildflowers as opposed to bedding plants is a much more cost effective option. Obviously a lot of councils are far more concerned with adhering to a visual stereotype of a village/town/city, but I commend any council who takes the brave step of of practical planting over shameless squandering.

The programme did make me consider what I can do to raise awareness about the benefits of pollen rich planting and wildflowers (other thttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhan includinghttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif them more in my own garden and encouraging others to do the same). By designing some prints featuring wildflowers and bee friendly plants, I hope to change many peoples perceptions of wildflowers as being 'weeds', or less beautiful or 'showy' than any other flower. British wildlife and nature is something I am very passionate about, we can all contribute to protecting different species of flora and fauna, so think about what you can do to make a difference, watch the programme if you have a spare hour, or visit the BBC site for more information.


(Above image, a bee on a nectar rich Scabiosa in my garden last summer)